Heracleion-Thonis

©Franck Goddio Hilti Foundation

The city of Heracleion-Thonis was submerged 1500 years ago, and is located underwater near the contemporary Aboukir. It had been mentioned by the Greek writer Herodotus in the 5th century BC. Heracleion was then described as a great port city, gateway to ancient Egypt.

Discovered in 2000, the site revealed a lot of finds: the colossal statues (166 feet) of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the god Hapi and an unidentified Egyptian pharaoh, all preserved in excellent condition thanks to their muddy burial shroud. Hundreds of smaller statues of Egyptian gods where also discovered, with the figures that guarded the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated as Queen of the Nile. Dozens of sarcophagi and many amulets have also been found. Perfectly preserved inscribed pillars have been unearthed, decorated with hieroglyphics, which will add detail to the knowledge we have of the ancient world. Evidence shows that the site must have been submerged in the 6th or 7th century AD.

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flag Egypt
Capital: Cairo
Region: Arab States

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